NAWG – Short Story Comp + Festival

Nottingham University - pic. courtesy of Wikipedia (Stephen McKay)

I’ve promised to help plug NAWG’s first ever short story competition, which is being judged by my fellow short story writer and blogger, Linda Lewis.

NAWG (sounds like you’ve got sinus problems when you say it!), is the National Association of Writers’ Groups and, if you’re thinking of joining a group, there’s a handy directory of their members on the website. Or if you’re already in a group, and wondering whether it/you should be a member of NAWG, see the website for the benefits).

Right, back to the short story details. You’ll need to look at the website for more details and the full set of rules, but in a nutshell:

* Closing date: 31st October
* Prizes: £250, £100, £50
* Word length: 500 – 2000 words
* Theme: Any – but it must be a story for adults, rather than children
* How to enter: by post + cheque only (I must admit I much prefer it when I can enter by email + Paypal, but never mind!)

Although Linda writes for the women’s magazines, I don’t think she’ll necessarily be looking for that kind of story. I’ve read stories that she’s judged in the past and they’ve been anything but, so just concentrate on sending in the best story you can and don’t worry about trying to make it fit the ‘womag’ mould.

It costs £5 to enter (which is about standard these days) and for an additional £3 you’ll receive a critique from Linda. If you’re prepared to splash out £5 on an entry, then I’d encourage you to go for the critique too. It’s not much more and at least you’ll then have an idea of where you went ‘wrong’ (if you don’t win, of course!). And if your story doesn’t win this competition, you could then make the necessary amends and send it somewhere else.

If you read the latest (October) issue of Writers Forum, you’ll see that’s exactly what the winner of the short story competition did. He initially submitted the story some months ago and paid for a critique. When the story wasn’t placed, he didn’t sulk and stuff the story in a drawer, never to be seen again. No – he RE-WROTE the story, taking note of the critique, re-submitted it for another of Writers Forum’s monthly competitions and won the £300 first prize in October’s issue! Clever man. (My story ‘The Curse of the Sheep Baby’ came third, by the way. That story has been knocking around for about 10 years and I was determined to get it into print, so I was chuffed with that).

NAWG’s annual Festival of Writing is taking place on the Nottingham University campus between 2nd – 4th September and it looks great. You might be interested to know that you don’t have to commit to the whole (residential) weekend – you can just sign up for as little as one workshop or just go on the Saturday, for example and not stay over.

I can’t make it this year but perhaps next… Sigh. If I could, I’d spend all my time just going from one writing holiday to the next. You’ve probably gathered that by now!

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2 Responses to NAWG – Short Story Comp + Festival

  1. Alice says:

    Thank you for this information Helen. I’ll definitely have a go at the competition and a critique would be very useful .
    Congratulations on your story-it just goes to show that it is always worth persisting, I look forward to reading it 🙂

  2. Mel H says:

    Great, thanks Helen – might try and enter this as I missed quite a few comps over the summer 😦 Hoping for some more discipline with the new school term!!

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